If you don’t already have a Home Depot where you live, hold the phone. The world’s largest home improvement store, the second largest retailer in America, with fiscal 2004 sales of $73.1 billion.(only 25% the sales of Wal-Mart), told investors this week that it hopes to build 400-500 new stores over the next five years, or a rate of as many as 100 new stores per year. Home Depot is twice the size of its nearest rival, Lowe’s. This expansion plan adds up to 40 to 55 million new square feet of concrete. A big part of Home Depot’s sales are targeted to installations. By 2010, the company expects that 5-6 percent of its sales will come from services. Today the company offers 25 national service programs through its At-Home Services division, including flooring, fencing, roofing, cabinetry and a host of other interior and exterior services. Home Depot also reported that its online sales have doubled in 2005, with more than three million shoppers visiting the company’s websites each week. Home Depot says it will continue its focus on the professional contractor market, which it hopes will generate 18-19 percent of overall sales. “We are poised for dramatic growth over the next five years across our business,” said CEO Robert Nardelli. Home Depot now has 345,000 employees, with 2,028 stores in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico. The company has announced plans for retail expansion into China.
Just as Home Depot is poised for growth, the movement against Home Depot is growing also. Sprawl-Busters predicts that at least 132-165 of the Home Depot stores that will be proposed over the next five years will be challenged by citizen’s groups, and significantly delayed or stopped entirely. This will require Home Depot to propose far more than 500 sites in order to reach 500 stores. It’s growth projections in the past have not measured up to expectations. For examples of Home Depot controversies in local communities, search Newsflash by ‘Home Depot.’